This morning I got a reminder on social media about a post on my father’s Facebook wall that once again trashed the LGBTQ+ community in favor of religion. He and his wife of many years are not and have not been in my life by my choice, but a much older memory spurred me to look at his profile. While the barrage of anti-queer sentiments was sad, I am no longer the same person who was once so deeply traumatized and hurt by the man who wrote them.
Before blocking the profile and welding shut the door on that toxic relationship, I left one final message for my father, so that there might be no ambiguity about the man I am despite him:
I started writing Love Letters From Dad because I wanted to be able to share some hard fought wisdom and unconditional love, without judgment or expectations. In this blog, I hope to be able to offer some paternally-minded support to people who – like me – might not have had it when they needed it most. I am not defined by the traumas of my childhood, and neither are you. Don’t let your history be the sole determinant of your future. More than anything, love yourself to understand that sometimes walking away from the people in your life who are causing pain is the best thing you can do for yourself. You do not owe it to anyone to be abused in the name of love or family.
And never forget that I love you.